Wedding hall blues

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (WABC) -- It's the very definition of stress. Your wedding is in weeks or even days away, and your venue is shuttered, closed up tight. It's a cautionary tale and an expensive lesson for some brides to be, that might help you save thousands.

Invitations, check. Shoes, check. Rings, double check. Katherine Kirschner and her fiance Robert Bradley thought they had the perfect venue, The Water's Edge, right on the water in Long Island City, with a million dollar view of Lower Manhattan.

"My fiance and his parents are from Pennsylvania, so we really wanted a New York-style wedding. And we wanted them to come to Manhattan and have a real New York experience," said Katherine Kirschner, the bride-to-be.

They made two down payments totaling $10,500, nearly half of the total cost, to pay for their Halloween wedding. But Friday, less than 24 hours before their wedding, the wedding hall is shuttered, just a sign posted on the door, saying it's closed for renovations.

"When I saw that, At first I felt sick, because it's closed," Katherine said.

The Long Island City resident says she sensed trouble at The Water's Edge in early September. "We entered panic mode," she said.

That's when news broke, the restaurant's owner, Harendra Singh was indicted by federal authorities on 13 counts, including alleged bribery and fraudulently collecting nearly $1 million in federal aid by falsely reporting Super storm Sandy damage to The Water's Edge.

"Our entire wedding was in jeopardy. It was a big question mark for us," Katherine said.

Thankfully, weeks ago, Katherine and Robert, reserved another venue. So Saturday, they will exchange "I do's." But, what about their down payment, given by their parents?

"My parents deserve a happy healthy retirement and to know what they've gone through to help us have a reception at another venue, it's just wrong," Katherine said.

Mr. Singh entered a "not guilty" plea. The U.S. Attorney says he's currently out on bail on home confinement with electronic monitoring. He's scheduled to be back in court next month.

Singh's attorney didn't answer repeated calls for comment. The big takeaway is to check out event insurance. If your venue closes down, you'll have coverage.
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